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Monday, November 7, 2016

I -Dentity

A human being is a part of the whole called by us "universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. 
--Albert Einstein

Monday, October 10, 2016

Gold Mind Meditation Introduction to Mindfulness Classes (6)



Come to class one, and Register on 
Weds. (Oct. 12, 2016)
Meet each Weds at 5:30 - 7:00
Suite 220 at BIC-NW Headquarters
1411 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR
$25 Total, text provided & free links provided
Had Walmer, hwalmer@gmail.com

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall 2016 Gold Mind Meditation Project Classes at BIC-NW

Requested space for 'Gold Mind':
'Introduction to MindfulnessMeditation' classes for brain injury survivors at
BIC-NW Office space (Room 220).  -OR- 
Nextdoor Conference Room space

for 6 Wednesdays, 5:00 - 7:30PM,  

Oct. 12, 19, 26 & Nov. 2, 9, 16

Class will run 5:30-7:00PM
Tuition is $25.00 for 6 classes, no one turned away for lack of funds.
1411 SW Morrison, Portland, OR   (Room 220)

Request was accepted. First class Weds. Oct. 7, 2016 5:30-7

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016

We are becoming aware that there is no time to waste and that this IS our one precious life which is worth living like our life depends on it now.
It does.

We can initiate conversations fulfilling our core goals and commitments. This is important - and it questions if our live's actions fulfill or wander away from what we value? Are we living on purpose? Please note, a meditation practice is only partially 'magic', you must intentionally work hard and focus on the actual practice regularly. Short of that effort it will be like any other lame or facetious effort! I mean it!

I got a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) over two decades ago. Many millions worldwide share this condition. I've found peace and equanimity (and much else) through my mindfulness and meditation practice. In 2010 I realized that I've got something worth devoting my life to for the TBI community - teaching mindfulness to others suffering  similarly.
I call it "Gold Mind Meditation Project", started in 2010. The project is to bring present for sufferers of TBI the benefits of MINDFULNESS.
http://hadwalmer-goldmind.blogspot.com
One form this takes is classes I teach at Legacy Good Sam. Hospital in Portland, OR via BIRRDsong.org, a  local TBI support group
http://braininjuryconnectionsnw.org

I look forward and welcome any comments on how y'all think I could expand this to reach every member of the TBI (and other traumas) COMMUNITY. It grows by millions every year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This is a long past page from the time of my auto accident, now case history.  Psychic Connie Newton is in Chicago and I’m in the Davis, CA hospital.

Connsuella Newton,  doing this reading,
        http://www.thedestinyoflight.com/index.html
Had Walmer Age 22   U.C. Davis Center For Brain Injury, patient in coma            
        after automobile accident on I-5 North, CA
HAROLD C.  WALMER, D.O.

My Observations:
I am progressing down the hall to a room on my left and I see a young man placed rather close to the window, he is on the side where the window is.  I see a head that is wrapped in bandages. His bed is elevated slightly just so that the head is up just a little bit.  I don’t see a lot of the elevation.  I see bandages on other parts of the body.  The body has a number of contusions on it. I see bruises contusions along the inferior maxillary bone above the right side of the jaw. Bruises are seen across the clavicle on the chest.  The right side of the body seems to have received more trauma than the other side. The bruises are seen more easily on the right side and the right arm.  The chest and the hip area on the right side show heavy red spots.  I don’t fee that the blood has turned back and blue at this time.
The right arm:
I see here that the wrist and the hand were shown to me to be turned back at an angle.  I feel some degree of muscular contraction here.  The hand muscles are pulled back.  I had a big question mark in my mind on this, because it could be that there is a break or a fracture here, or that there is some damage to the right hand muscle.  At any rate contraction should be stopped in it or it should be checked somewhere along the line.  I checked it three or four times and it still came back to that same kind of twisting look.
Personality:
To make sure that I’m in on the right person. He is cheerful, dark hair, average height about 5’-10” maybe an inch or two taller than his father.  His hair has a little curl in it.  I feel one section of his hair falls a little to the center of his forehead; it’s almost like a trait. I would say that the hair would fall easily there.  The most outstanding feature is that his eyes are very bright.  I get the feeling that his eyes are the key winning feature about his face.  He has a winning smile and the fire of life I get is in his eyes.  There have been some attempts to grow a moustache recently but I don’t get that he was satisfied with this.  I would indicate that he is easy going, has a very relaxed attitude.  There is not a great deal of intensity about him.  I would say his is easy going easy to know easy to like easy living.  The key word is easy for him and I would say that this is a person that I would feel comfortable with, a person that most people would feel comfortable with.
In talking to the consciousness of Had I see that he respond to me in a sleepy fashion and not in a very alert state at this time.  His nervous system and I’m doing this very quickly and briefly as possible.  I got right into pain centers that are being registered and I feel that they are being registered across the shoulders and running down both arms.  The pain also registers down the back to the 10th thoracic vertebrae.  The pain is felt from the bottom of the left heel of the left foot up the back and coming from the bottom of the left foot up the back to the anklebone.  Pain is also radiating in the back of the neck into the medulla oblongata.  There is some degree of pressure in the cervical bone area pressing also on the spinal cord.  Instead of the cord being suspended like it should be, I see it resting against the bones in the 1st 2nd and third cervical areas.
Now when I got to the area of concern I asked him to indicate where the most intense areas are and he indicated that there was a lot of heat in the head.  He feels pressure and indicates the right hemisphere of the brain.  He maintains and continues to reiterate that the temperature inside of him has to be decreased.  He keeps saying that the temperature is rising and emphasizes controlling this more than anything else.  I keep trying to get to other areas of the body and he kept indicating temperature and that he must be kept cool.  The lower part and center of the head is where he indicates intense swelling that would be in the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe and the occipital.  All this is behind the fissure of Rolando.  The swelling is more pronounced here than in the frontal lobe.  He indicates some pressure behind the left eyeball, but getting in there I feel that it’s more pressure from the swelling than any outstanding damage.  I’m aware of heat from the back of the neck to the center part of the head and a lot of heat is centered over the left hemisphere of the brain.  This is my sensation.  The right side of the face feels numb somewhat and I feel a swelling there.  I feel that there is some laceration inside the mouth and that there may be some molars loose on the right side. When I got down into the respiration I felt that it is deep.

The musculature:  I sense some repair work might be needed on the right shoulder with possible strain or separation at this point.  In looking over the musculature in his body he seems to have nice long muscles, not the bunched kind of muscles in his body.  They’re the kind of muscles that would be good for track and the kind of muscles that would be good for swimming, that kind of build.  Getting into the organs I don’t see a full expansion of the lungs even thought the respiration is deep I don’t get good full expansion of the lungs and this particularly on the right side.  I also am aware of a dark spot on the right lung in the area near the sternum between the 5th and 6th ribs.  This could be due to a blow received or it could be an indication of a bruise going deep at that time but it was shown to me on the level at that area, right in the lung section.  The heart I felt was normal in its’ function and I didn’t feel any drawing to stay in that particular area to examine here.  The liver and all organs in the abdominal region; when I got right into the abdominal region the word ‘shock’ came straight across there and this is the first time I’ve seen this.  This body has got to be guarded against any further shock, and that thing is very important.  Any kinds of movement should be kept at a minimum for this body.  It’s very important that quiet should be maintained for him.
At this level of consciousness he continues to talk to me in a very sleepy manner and at times drifts off.  It’s as if there may be some degree of comatose present.  He is aware of what is going on around him, but he feels some degree of frustration that he cant’ respond in his normal way.  This is what his consciousness is saying to me.  So regardless of what kind of state he is in I want everybody to know that he is fully aware of what is going on around him.  The organs of his body are out of synchronization with one another.  Each organ’s pitch, its tone has been altered due to the shock and this inharmonious sound has changed the vibrations causing each organ to therefore have a different kind of rhythms. They’re out of step. They are out of rhythm with each other.  The intestinal tract, the liver, the adrenals and the kidneys are all working at a different beat.
I asked for a solution and the solution that I have been seeing has been completely unorthodox.  I was shown a cone being applied by a metal instrument shaped like a six inch microphone with a metal round tip and being placed over energy points in the following areas:  in the scrotum, inside the knee, inside the ankle bone and one area on the hip bone opposite the navel and also a little to the right of the hip bone.  And at that hipbone area there were two areas: on the hip bone at the hipbone and a little to the right of the hipbone closer to the navel.  Now if we had that kind of instrument I’m sure that would restore the body at this particular point.  I get a feeling that there are key energy points that Dr. Walmer knows about.  This should be done to him on athe right side first and then the left sided and this will reestablish the body rhythm.  Some kind of tone, an electronic tone can be applied in ascending pitch as it is applied to the upper parts of the body so that as you would work up with this instrument which would have it’s pitch of the body and the pitch would then increase in degrees so that it would become higher as you move further up the body.  When I asked about acupuncture, I was told that it could be utilized if some form of vibratory tone could be set up in the body with the needles carrying the vibrations and the rods would have to be struck or tapped or vibrated.  The rhythm would be established and this could bring about a good rhythm in this body and bring this body out of shock and that the head however should not be moved or vibrated in any way.  Acupuncture, I feel should not be done until after he is out of the hospital but if we had that particular tone type instrument it could be applied while he was in the hospital that would bring him out.  Now the patient gives a very strong indication of wanting to be alive and to function wholly.  He will have to go through steps to achieve this.
I went back and I looked at it again and again and everything that was shown to me that he has to go through steps.  Over his head I saw a cloud, a mist that was deep pink white with a blue around it with deep pink in the center had white around that and then blue around it. Now it represents the state of his consciousness and that he isn’t functioning totally in his physical body.  Whenever that shows up it means that half of it is out or that the majority of it is outside of his physical body.  I also was aware of two beings present with him and they are stating to me that he should remain on the Earth plane for there are two specific things he must do in service to mankind.  One of these things will be executed by him twelve years form this period in time and the other that he will do will be 31 to 32 years of this period of Earth time.
These important times will have to be fulfilled because they will affect other people greatly and so he has to do these things.  The trauma that the physical body has sustained will be negated in a six-month period totally.  The consciousness will undergo a change in a three-month period.  The change of this consciousness will be evident to all who know him personally.  The importance of his life is being unfolded to him at this very moment and they’re also giving him the reasons for his being born.  Determination is going to be reinforced n his mind and be evident in his life as her proceeds to put his life back together.
Recommendations to follow:   I recommend that the conventional treatment for head injuries be given and followed explicitly.  No vigorous shock or movements to the body be given at this time. Acupuncture can be given after the patient is released from the hospital but not during his hospitalization.  I’m talking about conventional acupuncture not the technique I was mentioning before.  Spring of this year will be his strong recuperative period and this will also be a period when he will do a complete reevaluation of persons who are close to him, his relationship and how he sees them.  Recuperation I feel will not be instantaneous.  This is something he has to go through according to what the beings have said and I do not see beings showing up in my normal scans, I really don’t.  Healing can be administered to alleviate the discomfort that he is sensing but there must be some relearning of skills that he has taken for granted. I feel very strongly that absent healing will do a lot of corrective work on the shocked traumatized organs.  The aura field will receive a healing energy and will also bring the organs into synchronization when healing is sent in an absent way.  I’m coming to concentrate very strongly on the areas on his body in order to alleviate the distress that is now present.  I recommend that all persons concentrating on him use a soft blue misty cloud to cover his body now. This is only the color for him. Allow the color to change to the deep violet blue color like the indigo blue.  This what his body is calling for now.  Start with a medium light blue and then move to indigo. When you think of him and when anybody thinks of him think of this color surrounding him.  This will have a tremendous effect on his body.  Although it’s unseen it will have an effect.  He is quite receptive to my touching him and my presence.  He is quite receptive to the presence of his loved ones who are there, he is well aware of that.   It is important that his family and the people who care for him communicate with him verbally, that they talk to him when they are in his presence.  He is very much aware.  The color sets up a compatible tone that I mentioned.  This is a compatible tone with his body and it brings a balance into his body.  I further recommend that Dr. Walmer concentrate mental energy along the meridians of the body with which he is familiar.  And in the process of concentrating energy along these meridians he may in his mind insert the needles and stroke them in his mind.  Now this is beneficial that he stroke the needles in his mind only.  This mind process will work down to the physical, but nothing should be done to the physical body at this time for stimulation and that is very important.  You shouldn’t actually stimulate but it should be done on a mental basis.  The proper equipment that would bring about the tones of the body into full working order like I mentioned just are not available in this time period.  I see them and I understand their workings and everything, but they have just not come into the physical level yet.  They have not been made available, constructed yet.  There should be no stimulation to the head even mentally, so Dr. Walmer should not even mentally stimulate anything along the meridians of the head and everything must be done gently, everything softly gently.  This young man is being guarded and watched from another level of consciousness. And I feel that he still has a lot of life ahead of him and something important to do in his life.  So his family should kind of relax, but get busy mentally with those sorts of things. If you have any questions or feedback pleas feel free to call me back.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Gold Mind Meditation Project
(Transformation: Benefits for fellow head-injury survivors)        

Brain-injury is an invisible disability, not easily noticed from the outside like a wheelchair or crutches. It's a complex injury to the our brain and associated neurosensory systems. Each survivor experiences a unique array of symptoms, known profoundly from inside. Moving forward in times of great difficulty calls for drawing on one’s buried resources. Gold Mind Meditation Project empowers you to access resources in the mind and actually thrive in life through learning the Power of Mindfulness.

I speak from personal experience.  Returning to college years ago, I was involved in a serious car accident. Jaws-Of-Life were required to free me from the vehicle. I got a skull fracture and was in coma for seven days.  My brain swelled in my skull causing much secondary damage after the crash impact. When I came to I had severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), diplopia (double-vision) and amnesia. In an instant I was not who I used to be.

Since that time I've lived with continuing challenges of TBI. I struggled to complete my university degree and to get on with my life. I graduated from the university and then within a few years experienced frustrating failure in the loss of several jobs due to cognitive deficits:
weak learning and memory, poor boundaries and speech pathology. Often my perceptions were very cloudy - unaware of what I could do or be. My friend who is an Occupational Therapist pointed out that this condition was the direct result of TBI, what TBI is, and that I can actually have a powerful say in the process and success of my TBI rehabilitation.

TBI has often been misdiagnosed and thus poorly treated. In expensive and top-of-the-line rehabilitation programs I learned of my 'cognitive-deficits' and 'compensatory coping-strategies' for those deficits. These strategies are well-intended rehab but fell short of knowing and actually addressing the best possible well-being for me.  I had to learn this inner transformation for myself.

In my own explorations I have learned to sift gold (possibilities) from the gravel of my life experiences in order to find meaning, value and purpose for myself. Mindfulness Meditation is the key, learning to be brightly alive and awake in the present moment. I’ve learned the meditation practice called Insight Meditation.  Regular practice helps me be concentrated and focused, capable of sustained attention to chosen activities and to hold said purpose in mind. With Mindfulness practice we take a stand for our inner wellness, solidly at peace beyond the damages of our trauma and change. This is a path of being at peace with and authentic in your life, now. You can be ready to pick up whatever is next in your life path, with greater ease and joy, skillfully. You will get back benefits in proportion to the time that you put into the practice of mindfulness mediation, empowered to strongly face challenges.

Mindfulness practice can lead to brain healing ('neuroplasticity'- the brain can heal itself).  I am now choosing to live my life intentionally and more skillfully - making peace with this malady and finding the healing I need with present moment awareness. You can do this too. This is the start of a new path for you! Being calm and clear - activating your mind’s inherent strengths. Loving the life you live now.  Really!

Had C. Walmer                     hwalmer@gmail.com                (503)332-3046  


Gold Mind Meditation Project
"Introduction To Mindfulness Meditation"
Six Classes, Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:30
Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:30
September 23, 30. October 7, 14, 21 & 28.
RSVP and COMMITMENT :$20.00 cash or check to 
Brain Injury Connections, NW
Meet at Wilcox Building, Conference Room B,
Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital
1015 NW 22nd & Marshall, Portland, OR 97210
Contact Had Walmer (503)332-3046 Hwalmer@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

FALL 2015 Introduction To Mindfulness MEDITATION , NEUROPLASTICITY NOW!






Gold Mind Meditation Project
"Introduction To Mindfulness Meditation"
Six Classes, Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:30
Wednsday evenings, 6:00-7:30
September 23 & 30. October 7, 14, 21 & 28.
RSVP and COMMITMENT :$20.00 cash or check to Brain Injury Connections, NW
Meet at Wilcox Building, Conference Room B,
Legacy Good Sam. 1015 NW 22nd &. Marshall, Portland, OR 97210
Contact Had Walmer (503)332-3046 Hwalmer@gmail.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

GMMP Class #4

Gold Mind Meditation Project                       Free Class and Parking (I will provide vouchers!)
Brain Injury Connections NW / BIRRDsong
Meets this Weds. April 8, 6:30 - 8:00PM
Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital at NW 22nd & NW Marshall, Portland
In Wilcox Building to right of Main Entrance from NW22nd, Conference Room 'B' (downstairs)
(Park in Parking Structure #2 or #3 on NW Marshall, take a ticket from machine and get a voucher from me in class)
Led by Had Walmer, Founder GMMP,

For this weeks GOLD MIND CLASS #4: BEING honestly with our life experience.

Our lives aren't about feeling 'all better,'  all the time,  that is a fantasy. Let the good times roll! There is a natural rolling cycle of starting, fulfilling/doing and completing our actions. Take the actions you've started to completion confidently; Or be surrounded by remnants of incompletion, which drain your energy.

Tonight is about bringing wisdom forth in your life experience, using the light of awareness, which is what guides our mindfulness practice.  This is accepting all of our experience. Accepting and consciously having it, so it doesn't have us!
This must include feeling bad (note the hindrance we talked about last week - aversion, pushing away, >Denying that we are feeling bad).

Impermanence
 is one ground of our being. Bad feelings can be faced directly, intimately. Get to know them now, on a first name basis.  They are visitors that will leave as quickly as they come.  Look and see. Are you the same as yesterday, last year, last decade?

We can learn that the 'sultry bummers' and pain of our life experiences occur and Recur!  Good feelings arise and then... the tide goes out.  Good feelings pass away. We aren't ALL BETTER all the time. We can declare this intention; it is a path and goal of NEUROPLASTICITY. The brain can heal itself, over time.

Rather - the way 'all better now' looks is simply,  exactly the way our experience is occurring for us right now.
AND we actually can be more skilled in transformation, freeing ourselves of self created suffering
And discontent. This freedom happens in the present moment!
OBSERVE and let go of the demand that we be different than we are. This is liberating!

I have a brain injury, that isn't going away! Brain is part of our body and BODY is the First
Foundation of mindfulness. How is it in the body now? What are the feelings: pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral? This is it! It doesn't get more real than this. Welcome to 'drivers ed' for the new era.

I have focussed this insight on the brain plight of my community, this community of brain injured peers. The brass ring, NEUROPLASTICITY  is now becoming understandable, still hard to get to. It is skillful to hold this as a goal and aspiration-
fine as that goa lis, we are still in the plight of having this human life with concomitant dukha or suffering, however there is also a cure available in mindfulness meditation.

One called the Buddha discovered liberation from that plight
 -Accept what is, and suffering will abate, depart! There is freedom from dukha!
There is an eightfold path!

Enter OBSERVATION and ATTENTION to what is, to how I am holding my experience.

We can take a stand for wellness holding it honestly, joy denying and if we can, letting go
Of the unpleasantness and letting it pass.
Liberation is the promise of this practice!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GMMP Mar 25, Class Two of Ten, Wilcox ‘B’, Legacy Good Sam. Hospital

Eating Meditation
Take ONE Raisin – Hold it in your hand, like you’ve never seen one before, smell it, feel it. Observe any ideas that enter your mind, memories.
Be aware of the attention you bring to this. Be in an inquiry, how can I know what this is? How heavy is it, can you hear it?

Is saliva secreting? (anticipated feeding?) It’s a real mind/body phenomenon.           PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH. Do not chew or swallow. Look at your intention; ideas of what will come next. Be here now. Feel it on your tongue, roll it around. How big is it in there? Is there any taste?

Chew slowly, don’t swallow yet. Swallow and now follow closely the passage of this raisin as it travels to your belly. This was a seed, and then it became a full grown plant.  It grew on a vine in a field in Sonoma County, was picked by a man or woman, young or old, put into a heating area, sun dried, trucked to a packing plant then trucked again to the grocer, bought by me and brought to Wilcox Building, now eaten by you. Everything is connected to everything else and it is impermanent. We feed, we eat. We’re tubes walking around, for awhile.

This is Gold Mind Meditation Class No. Two
We will return to that experience we just had in a few minutes. How was reading of the Introduction To Insight Meditation booklet?  Did you sit each day? When is the best time for you to sit, you’ve got the whole day.
I’ve suggested that you sit with a group sometimes, that helps and can give useful guidance and structure.
1) PIMC
2) PFOD
3) SHAMBALA

The practice, as we just did with the raisin, is about focusing your undivided attention on ONE object to gain some degree of basic concentration.

The phrase “seeing things as they are” is somewhat ambiguous
>>This is actually seeing that is not clouded by previously set prejudices, greed, misunderstandings.
You want to get rid of psychological annoyances to make your life peaceful and happy, mentally sharp and clear.

MINDFULNESS in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s words is paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally.  MINDFULNESS IS about ATTENTION and AWARENESS!

This comes from a Buddhist tradition for sake of clarity we’ll continue focusing using the term ‘mindfulness’, an empirical approach.
It’s about mind and states of mind – being aware
Stabilize the mind – see his book, Full Catastrophe Living by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The adventure of a lifetime starts in the present moment with clear seeing. I contrast this with looking through a tangle or cloud of false ideas in the mind. 

It is useful to bring an attitude of affectionate and kind observation to your practice, harsh isn’t pleasant. Pleasant will last.

I often say ‘seeing’, but the opportunity here is fully embodying our lives using ALL of our SENSES! We start with the main five:
Seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching.  Also to this we add a sixth – Mind. The whole world is created and lives in the mind, composed of conscious and sub-conscious.

In mindfulness practice the focus is on AWARENESS, rather than thinking. So, there are no experts in mindfulness, except you. It is known best to you, about your experience of your life. It’s a way of being.
Can you question who you are? Can you live without a hard answer? Live without knowing or tagging into a box?
Walt Whitman said, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Not knowing is not bad, it’s honest, not holding the liquid of life experience in false containers of ideas.
When you begin to meditate, instead of telling people about meditation – go meditate. Wait a few years.

Ethics, Why mention ethics?  This will keep us out of trouble.
There are five precepts and I will mention
Greed/Hatred/Delusion
Greed is our wants, grasping at things
Hatred is don’t want, critical of, anger, rage
Delusion is not seeing clearly, the self-fulfilling prophecy of paying attention only to what supports our viewpoint.

In this practice we will see the complex play of mind/body. This comes from awareness, not taken for granted assumptions, rather looking clearly at assumptions, where out viewpoints come from.
There is a lot here and It Matters!

This is a way of Being:
1) Non Judgemental  - not assigning the judgments of wrong or bad, rather allowing, getting to know things as they are, explore.
 2) Being non-judgmental requires PATIENCE and this means being with things as they are now, not moving on to the next thing to avoid an unpleasant experience. Mindfulness lets you step outta time into the whole NOW.
3) BEGINNERS MIND – This comes from Zen Buddhism teacher Shunryu Suzuki. Again it is an attitude or a stance, saying that in the expert’s mind there are FEW POSSIBILITIES, in the Beginner’s mind is NOTHING BUT POSSIBILITY. You rest in the not knowing, and a childlike energy of finding the possibilities!
4) TRUST – What is worthy of trust? Thinking? Is it Words in books, or from friends? YOUR shining light of awareness can shine on anything you are experiencing directly, NOW. That is trustworthy. Trust your senses!
5) NON STRIVING – take care of yourself, get enough rest. This is tough in America where we redefine ourselves as ‘human doings’
6) ACCEPTANCE – Not ‘just accept it’ passivity. Rather take a moment or longer and look over the entire picture, see the whole.
If there is something to do you will be empowered to do it!

Liberated of the bullshit of delusion, you see the whole catastrophe! Enjoy living moment-to-moment. N0w, NOW, now.

7) Thinking – “The mind has a mind of it’s own” Meditation is not about stopping our thinking. We are so good at thinking that we experience our thinking as FACTS. HA! The Buddha himself said, “Nothing is to be clinged to as my, me or mine. AWARENESS is bigger than thinking, senior to that. AWARENESS is a way of holding all of our lives. We can BE aware, not BE thinking.
Culturally we prize thinking, not awareness. Awareness shines light on all of our thinking. With awareness we inhabit our lives.

My main practice is taught in the Buddha’s Annapanasati Sutra; it is mindfulness of BREATHING. There are many subjects of meditation. To get some basic concentration focus wholly on sensations of the breath in your body. Don’t do anything, breath naturally. At most start with a few full breaths, fully IN then fully OUT so you can see what breath feels like. Feel your entire body, ride the wave of feeling total IN and OUT breath. Where in your body is it felt? Nostrils, abdomen? Awareness is what we’re developing, not breathing and not thoughts about breathing. Rest in awareness of each breath; where do you feel it now? Is it changing? Be fully aware of sensations, this is worth it. The result is a clear and sometimes happy awareness.
Does your attention wander? Thoughts have a life of their own. This is the practice! Notice when mind wanders/thinks
>>>>Bring attention back to breathing. This isn’t bad, sometimes it’s entertaining. It’s just not being on purpose with meditation. Watch the breath with clear focus, calmly. If the mind wanders one hundred times, bring attention back one hundred times.
INTEND to stay with the awareness, now. Stay with breath. Just this moment, this breath.
Initiating concentration and awareness
1) Count up to ten and back down then continue till you’re concentrated, then just attention to the breath.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

2015 BIAOR Conference talk on Meditation and Brain Injury

Had Walmer
(503) 332-3046
hwalmer@gmail.com
I.) My Brain Injury Story

During my stay at the UC Davis Hospital my mother and father kept a journal that I treasure, here’s an opening entry, “Notes to our much loved son – Had, a time of  agony,  love,  sense of loss and hope,  encouragement and realization that you have been given life because of your unfulfilled destiny.”

This was on a clear day, mid-morning, the last day of 1977. We three college students were traveling north on Interstate-5. in a car, returning to Oregon.

This was the end trip of what we had planned to be a normal holiday ride ‘vacation and then back to school’, using the campus ride board (EARLY “social network”), We spent Christmas at my girlfriends’ house by Yosemite National Park, in the Sierra Mountains foothills – now, our track was back to school!

This shot me into the world of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Unexpectedly we plowed into a car that had missed its exit and was actually backing up on the freeway at ten o’clock in the morning.

My head, with reading glasses on smashed into the car’s dashboard. The police report says we impacted at 66 mph, crushing the right front of our car, (SUICIDE SEAT) where I was seated.

This was before current seat belt laws and I was in a COMA instantly. Jaws-of-Life were required to free me from the confines of our smashed vehicle. I was the most severely hurt of all of us in the car. We were taken to the U.C. Davis Emergency Room, ICU

My entire brain swelled instantly, encased in the confines of my closed skull.  This caused secondary damage to the initial brain damage from the crash itself. Craniotomy, the removal of my skull’s plates to provide critical relief for my brain’s swelling was not an option on the table then, though this is now done with great results!

My father, a D.O. and mother an R.N. immediately flew across the country from Pennsylvania to be constantly by my side. I got loving bedside care on top of the superb conventional medical care from the UC Davis Hospital. In addition to this there was supernatural care. hundreds were praying for me in church, per my Catholic mothers’ request.

In this context I regained consciousness in a week. I came to with amnesia, a fractured skull, diplopia and a ‘serious TBI’. Serious TBI is defined as being unconscious for a week or greater. 

I was then 22 years of age, I had no idea of what this TBI would mean for me.   I went from the hospital to the care of my parents in Pennsylvania.


After 8 months at my parent’s home, that following Fall I went back to college thinking that life would continue to match my memories and be the same as previous times there.

Not knowing much about my TBI, I was automatically stepping back into the life story that I had been living before. All I knew then was to ‘put my head down’ and return to my previous life, back at school.

Less than a year later, my previous school environment was very much not there anymore. So much had changed.  You can imagine the immense frustrations that quickly would arise in my new TBI life, as I was not ‘all there’ anymore.

In the short instance of this accident I had been catapulted into a new life. From then on I was often in a fuzzy mental haze and only aware of that new and ‘hazy normal’ after it went away, when mental clarity reappeared. Though it would just as quickly depart.

The brief periods of clarity arose automatically, unbidden and this seemed to me to be impending recovery (“All better now”). However, these times of bright mental clarity were brief and only a false-recovery or delusion.  They didn’t last and I couldn’t sustain them.

That is the heart of my brain injury story, really it is the credential for me now sharing and teaching what I’ve found for rehabilitation and relief from TBI. I know this from the inside.

II.) Enter, the world of TBI

The facts of my TBI’s solid existence and its concomitant deficits would become painfully revealed to me in the years to follow.

Back at the university I had great difficulty learning in class. I was unable to organize my thoughts or speak them coherently.  I wasn’t stupid, yet my ability to learn was now far different than I knew before.

My memory was now Teflon for new learning, quick learning and easy recall was gone.  My social relations were in a disarray that I caused and couldn’t correct.

Though I was unaware of my TBI’s impact, it was now steering the ship of me.

At this time I was primarily a student, mainly concerned with going to school, learning and relating to friends. I didn’t understand much less communicate well about the different way that things were now occurring for me.

My thoughts were often a disorganized jumble. I cried occasionally and didn’t know what had happened to me. Frustration was the norm. My girlfriend and I broke up as I raged in frustration and was unable to mend our discords.

The machinery of me was now discombobulated. Familiar ways didn’t work anymore.  I needed an operating system upgrade. I didn’t know how, with this newly changed brain, how to study and remember the new things I wanted to learn.  Rage erupted with these frustrations and challenges of my school life. There are several dented sheetrock walls from punch or kick (how embarrassing to even say this)

Life continues and welcome to my second life. We are somehow given a live to live. Something about a sperm and egg uniting, we get born.  The biggest question, I say is, “What is worth doing with this life?” What is the unfulfilled destiny stated in my parents’ journal that I can now create?

I’ll be brief here, I now stories can be tedious, please listen for the statement of TBI difficulties that appear, and then I will move on the main theme of this talk –
 meditation and its many benefits. Thank you for your empathetic and interested listening.





III.) Having and knowing you have TBI

I struggled within a range of new and of course unfamiliar cognitive deficits.  My TBI was only vaguely recognized by me, or by others around me (TBI is the hidden or invisible disability). I just knew that things were not as they had been before and I was running into my deficits.

Boundary issues and very slow mental processing made for a whole new mix in my social and personal world.
Frustration from this change was a persistent undercurrent in my entire life.

Apathy and pendulum swings in emotion and motivation replaced my previously enlivened focus at college work. I was often depressed.

Things had changed and who was I now?  In retrospect I had to learn to befriend this new me, to embark on the journey of discovering what mattered now and to discover what commitments worth my while in this new life.

I was a newcomer to the strange-new-world of TBI. Learning wouldn’t hold. Various enterprises and projects started with inspiration would end unsuccessfully.

As you can see, many of my descriptions of my life at this time overlap with what could be called ‘typical college life experience’.  Trust me it was typical college life, with a new addition of Traumatic Brain Injury.

IV.) Relationship
Bright light! I met my wife Faith in 1982.  In her no nonsense manner she encouraged me with loving support to actually get out and DO what I said I wanted to do: within a year I completed my bachelors degree and then got the first of many jobs. Love is an incredible support.

Faith is a professional employment specialist with Trellis. She counsels and finds sustainable employment for people with TBI.  Job seekers are referred to her by The State Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation.

I trained her well in this great skill; , she will talk next.  

Fortunately, with that encouragement from Faith I was able to successfully put myself out and get work.
Unfortunately, this was to become a repeating cycle:  get work, do it for a year or two, then lose this job for various TBI related deficits, get work again, repeat.

This went on for many jobs. For twenty years.  Given these conditions, as you can see I was desperate for control of mind and aching for inner peace.

We now have three fantastic grown children who say that they were actually nurtured by being raised in our family that made a strong commitment to and acted to surmount these recurring difficulties. We are proud parents; they have completed college and are married and living well.  They are all doing quite well! Faith and I have been promoted to Grandparenthood and are now, loving grandparents: “Papaw and Bubby”!

Before moving back to Oregon, we were living down in the San Francisco Bay Area.  After a few years of getting by, with indispensable support from my wife and family; I was in that cycle of getting work, thinking I’d never lose it, then losing it due to TBI deficits.

Faith and I have been together now for thirty years and this focus and commitment to the brain injury community is much of who we are!

 V.) Guided Meditation

Has anyone here meditated before? Were in the laboratory! We’re going to do a five minute guided Meditation.

Stay in a comfortable seated position.  Relax and just follow my instructions. This is not about any previous ideas you may have about what meditation is.  You don’t have to stop your mind from thinking; we’re bringing in here the observing and knowing mind, this is directed awareness.

The central thing to do is choose an object of awareness, say your breathing.  Put your mind’s focus on that, feel wherever it is that you notice the sensations of breathing, perhaps in your nostrils, or chest movement, or your belly moving. Again, this is NOT about ideas in your head, FEEL THE BREATH, your friend for life.

You know its not going to be a thousand breaths before your mind wanders. It’ll likely be one, maybe three, maybe just half a breath! Then, kindly return your attention to just the breath your are breathing now.

You can’t do anything wrong here, when you notice that you’ve gone off into thinking (“I shouldn’t have come to this workshop, this guy isn’t worth listening to, I don't want to be here”, whatever,

then return your attention to sensations of breathing each time you notice that mind has wandered into thinking thoughts;
Wake up to that, notice the wandering mind. Attend to just sensations of breathing, no words, Repeat.


Notice thoughts and feelings as they arise.
Return your focus and attention to now,
this breath.

I’ll ring the gong twice to end our session, enjoy this time.
(5 Minutes)


>Welcome back to the conference. Does anyone care to share any experience they have just had?  Are you interested in learning some more?
See notes on the handout for classes starting next week.



VI.) Mindfulness Meditation
I accepted an invitation from a friend and fellow parent to attend a meditation session at nearby Spirit Rock Meditation Center lead by Jack Kornfield who is now a well-known meditation teacher.

Who here has heard of him?  This was the start of something new for me that I continue to this day!

There is something whole and complete in a damaged brain that we can still access.

I know this is a bold claim, please listen to what I have to say here and then at the end of our talk, we’ll take time to converse about any questions.

Here is the good story of a POSSIBILITY, that I have learned in my real life experience – Transforming life from survive to thrive. This is the best do it yourself project I have ever done!

I call it The Gold Mind Meditation Project.
The basis of this project is our natural capacity as human beings to liberate ourselves from suffering or dissatisfaction through our own conscious effort.

I’m sharing that this is rehab and life support, self-prescribed (your motivation arises from within’, not cause I said it should). I’ve lived 37 years with my TBI and now have 27 years of meditation practice under my belt. (think  ‘practicing the piano’).   This is for the long haul. Not Woo Woo. It works.

VII.) Gold Mind Meditation Project
   for survivors, family and friends

Gold Mind Meditation Project teaches the skill of MINDFULNESS.  This is knowing FOCUS, AWARENESS OF YOUR PERCEPTIONS and learning to be present with these things through meditation. This is called MINDFULNESS, it’s not theory rather it is practice you can learn.

Every head injury is unique and the transformational rehabilitation of mindfulness meditation teaches each survivor or PEER to relate to his or her injury on it’s own terms, in their day-to-day lives.

Mindfulness meditation enables us to access other areas of our brain. There is a large overlap of neuroscience and dharma study.  The healing transformation can be known in anyone’s life, brain injured or not.  Anyone can benefit! Suffering is inherent in life - as are birth, sickness, old age and death.

This is a heart and mind intervention; it’s self-induced by your actions. The process is available anytime, day or night. You are the prime-mover here.  We’re actually going under the hood for some neural rewiring!


This PROJECT is ‘thinking outside the box’, this years conference title.
We're going to use the most highly developed neuro machinery ever created.  It's the human brain inside each of our skulls: 3 pounds of tofu-like tissue containing 100 billion neurons, or so neuro scientists tell us.
And - this project is about meditation,
DOING BY NOT DOING,
IT IS SELF-DIRECTED-AWARENESS.

I’ve been drawn to the practice of meditation by the light I see from within the mental trenches or cognitive deficits of my own severe traumatic brain injury.

My wife and I are committed in work we do to benefit the brain injury community. We are not just giving you a map or description here; this is from our on-the-ground participation.
In our work with Brain Injury Connections, NW we support peers, friends and family in creating satisfying lives through meditation and social activities in this support group.

See the handouts for scheduled classes.  You are invited to attend any number of classes at Legacy Good Sam here in Portland next week, Weds. Evenings. There will be ten classes, one evening a week with homework. No charge, lots to learn! Anyone is welcome. It's fun!

Gold Mind Meditation Project is my intention to embody Metta, which is loving-kindness and making the awakening occurs from available to my fellow TBI survivors - empowering them to end their own suffering and dissatisfaction.

If you don’t meditate – please hear me out and listen to what I have to say, you are in the right place. As I said this can be used by anyone.

The brain can get damaged and traumatized.  The whole world lives in our mind, yet the mind is malleable with mindfulness from meditation, which can alter the brain in positive ways.  We’ve each got the key to access new neural pathways; let’s do something positive and start this practice. It’s worth it!

I direct this to my peers, fellow brain injury survivors. The practice of Insight Meditation that I teach leads to an awakening of inner peace and wellness. In the face of those tormenting symptoms I mentioned it is deeply welcomed.  You can see freedom from suffering and secondary stress brought on by both the brain injury and then the negative self talk or demand that symptoms be different than they are.

To get a feel for whom I am talking to. Please raise your hand, you may fit into more than one category.
Who here is a peer or fellow survivor?
Who is family or friend?
Who is a professional working with brain injury?

I train students and inform them of already existing meditation centers to learn further as they continue practice on their own. I am not a new Meditation Center. I practice meditation here in Portland with two existing communities: PIMC, Portland Insight Meditation Center and PFOD, Portland Friends Of The Dhamma.




“Enlightenment is accidental. Meditation just makes you more accident-prone” Trungpa Rinpoche, a great teacher.

I began to attend Monday evening sessions weekly with Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in fall of 1988. Within a short time I had beautiful experiences of inner peace, of mental clarity and focused energy that appeared directly for me.

With those positive results I became eager to continue and that motivation continues to this day!  I liked learning the basic skills of mindfulness meditation and these awakening factors:
Mindfulness
Investigation
Energy
Joy or rapture
Relaxation or tranquility
Concentration
Equanimity

Though they seemed fleeting at the time, the positive experiences have steadily grown and I now count on them.
That can be called faith, based on experience.
Here was a community of fellow meditators I could learn the practice with.  Others who I met there shared similar experiences of awareness and concentration they were learning.  Here is a technology of mind actually practiced by millions. It can be learned by anyone who chooses to learn the practice.
I was introduced to this specific form of meditation, which is called Insight Meditation or Vipassana Meditation. Mindfulness is literally keeping something in mind with ardency and continuous effort, like the focus on your sensations of breath in the five-minute meditation.  That is the training of meditation practice, which we just did - keeping the breath in mind, doing it on purpose, by returning attention when mind wanders.

I emphasize that this practice is part of being human and is A-religious; you can meditate and practice meditation with any other or no religion. My Jewish wife cracks up at the names of some of my teachers: Kornfield, Goldstein, Boorstein.
This is laying the groundwork for our mind’s ability to change the brain as an effect of sustained attention.

This meditation practice is clearly mapped out for me in a large number of interesting books in plain English and easily accessed online dharma talks. (Please see the handout, Resource List) It is spoken and written of by both neuroscientists and well-trained dharma teachers.  There is a large area of overlap between meditation and neuropsychology and neuroscience.  The practice of mindfulness and meditation is very real, not just interesting philosophy for others.


For example, I was stressing over doing this presentation RIGHT, I noticed that and acknowledged that I was doing the best I can now and let go of the stressing.  I learn to honor exactly how I am in the moment and not have a background demand running in the background that I be some other way than I actually am, that only causes stress and suffering. It is self-talk that I can have some say in. Not always immediately, but surely over time.

Through sitting meditation and then being aware of your experience in the present moment, paying attention to the way my life is occurring, we actually transform the present moment by letting go of demands that we be different than we are.  That's exactly where the peace that is available and can show up in our experience. We can learn our own set of deficits and thus proactively cut out the stress about them.  They exist.

Suffering and being awake in the present moment are incompatible.  Arising in me was a profound experience of well being, literally a lasting experience of ‘no problem’, things are as they are. Sometimes giddy positive descriptions sound like crazy devotees.

Try this out and you’ll see.  Start simply with the declaration, “I’m mindful”.  This will open the question, what do I mean by being mindful? Give it time, you will move from that concept to a way of being, Mindful – able to be with yourself and things as they are.

Sitting meditation practice is the first step.  When you make the choice to learn this practice you can be empowered to follow your own authentic path.  Waking up to the present moment how it is for you now is basic training.  You can do it now, in this moment – intentionally. Watch each breath you breath, it’s only ever in the present moment. This steady awareness ripples out into the rest of your life. We set our intentions consciously. I declare that I’m on the path of living mindfully with brain injury.

Not too long ago this meditation was considered alternative. Now I observe it’s quite mainstream, anyone can benefit from mindfulness practice. It really works if you engage with the practice.

Mindfulness has opened me to new possibilities for myself, going beyond past-created conditioning that limits how I enter into new situations. I see daily the power of giving my word from a new perspective and having the integrity to communicate if things change.

At Spirit Rock I was inspired and had entered a compelling community and conversation for intentional awakening that I followed with the loving support of my wife and family –
It was ‘gold mind’.  Called the divine mind states: Loving-kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity.

Please note that family and friends support is essential at all levels of recovery. We are so intertwined with others that I can’t emphasize that support enough!  My wife Faith will speak some on this and how she has created family and support people’s support with Brain Injury Connections - NW.  There is ‘I’ in tribe and equally there is tribe in ‘I’, in each of us – we are here in a network of friendships and conversations with those friends. In meditation our close community of fellow practitioners is called Sangha. We depend on each other in networks of mutual support.

I saw that I was capable of learning the beneficial qualities spoken of in the dharma talks. It has upgraded my operating system.  Come to my classes and try on the upgrade. I teach based on what I have learned and know for myself with my brain injury.

I teach The Basics of Mindfulness classes to students with TBI at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in NW Portland.  It’s under the auspices of Brain Injury Connections, NW. Their mission is to empower peers and I have benefitted strongly from several years of active participation with this group, actually starting Gold Mind Meditation Classes under them.

See handout page for the Basics Of Mindfulness starting NEXT Weds. Night, March 18, 6:30 – 8:00, at Legacy Good Samaritan, NW 22nd & Marshall in Wilcox B, follow the signs on the doors!


You can be encouraged to meditate daily now (encouraged by the well designed Insight Timer, it’s an App for meditators worldwide on smartphones and tablets, again called Insight Timer)

I know the difference this practice makes for me. That motivates me to schedule practice.  Mindfulness is a very forgiving practice. It is literally ‘win/win’; you practice skillfully and learn what’s needed for you by looking directly at your experience, that which is needing to be healed or attended to will be revealed.

By sitting mindfully you can stop reckless automatic movement by looking and seeing.  How is it now, in the present moment - there’s your direct feedback for growth! Eventually we’ll see that we will not walk through that wall and stop walking into it!  (this wall is any behavior you intend to change).

The meditation process is a positive feedback loop, of practice and learning, it’s self-correcting.  Direct awareness, seeing what is so in the present moment is fire for your awakening and a source of deep peace within.

With mindfulness it is possible to accept and gently hold whatever states arise in your mind, or to know when I’m becoming overloaded (‘flooded’ in TBI talk) and to back off.

Here you choose not to ‘go under’ mental confusion or conditioned behavior patterns.  Awareness can take a break from  ‘committee in the mind’ (Which you met in our meditation today)
You may wake up to new choices, not seen before. YAY!

Simply getting the mind to settle down slightly can transform how we BE in the world. In this practice is a path of transformation, and I have access to the machinery of finding peace with what needs to be called forth to be this new me. Transformation isn’t necessarily a changed circumstance; rather it is a bold shift in perspective that arises naturally with mindful awareness. It’s perhaps a new way of seeing the same circumstance.

The brain with billions of neuronal connections can be a crazy beast!  Mindfulness training grounds us in a sense of dignified inner wellness and peace of being aware in the present moment, what I am metaphorically calling ‘Gold Mind’, allowing for our lives’ ups and downs, having damages of TBI, not being victimized by them.  Present moment awareness is priceless peace.

This is IT!  It’s like this right now is a way to be in your awareness.  “Work with what you have”, asserts my teacher Ajahn Thanissaro.  By allowing myself to be as I am I get to appreciate and know the wonder of NOW.

VIII.) NEUROPLASTICITY

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Here is the bonus for regular meditators, NEUROPLASTICITY.
As a non-medical professional I am giving you reports from out in the field, as an active user. Neuroplasticity is the brain science word of the decade.  Our brains can heal themselves.  Getting better can happen because of neuroplasticity!

TBI is still very much a part of my daily life. I’ve learned compensatory strategies that usually work.  My condition hasn’t gone away or been totally cured. With growing awareness I do have some say in the rewiring of my mind.

Here are two great teachers of great benefits showing up in Neuroplasticity and I suggest reading their work:
Norman Doidge M.D. has shown in two great books how neuroplasticity works:  1) The Brain That Changes Itself and it’s follow-up, just out last week 2)The Brain’s Way Of Healing.
Neuro psychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D. in his books, Buddha’s Brain and Hardwiring Happiness shows how the practice of mindfulness meditation can be used to cultivate happiness through working with our brains systems.

FROM RICK HASON:
On average, each of the 100 billion neurons in your head has about 1000 connections with other neurons, creating a huge network of about 100 trillion synapses. Like a computer network built from one hundred trillion transistors, each representing a “bit” of information depending on whether it is “on” or “off.”
since “neurons that fire together, wire together,” by deliberately cultivating wholesome states of mind, over time you create permanent, structural changes in your brain. Those changes may be a matter of uncovering a Buddha Nature, or Transcendental Awareness, or True Self that was there all along – but the “removal of the obscurations” is still a change within a person’s brain.

 In our worlds of great flux and complexity, what is enduring is knowing the possibility of transformation and seeing that we get that clarity through regular practice (use Insight timer and create for yourself a community of practitioners – these both support new learning). Participate in your life! Your life depends on it.

I now identify with the symptoms of my TBI less, and see even this identifying with it, as unskillful behavior that I now can have a say in.  This transformation in my self identity gives me peace and ease, knowing that the symptoms are only part of who I am and that in my relationships with those I care about I must speak truthfully of who I am now, and of course clean up any messes I’ve made through miscommunication.

Gold Mind Meditation Project has the purpose and intended result of introducing you to mindfulness meditation practice, the basics. It empowers you to develop a sustaining nurturing practice, transforming your relationship with this persistent condition and really loving the life you get to live.

This is ‘transformational rehabilitation’ – you choose to do this practice by your own free choice.  Many deficits and damages of TBI can be fixed over time; you are healed by being with things, as they are, not demanding that they be some way they cannot. Here and now is the experience of equanimity and peace.

This is a path of supreme optimism for survivors of TBI, a basic tenant is that no human life or moments of experience are to be wasted or forgotten.  We can engage with and live our one precious life intentionally, and awaken fully.
Go for it! This is it! This is possible for you!

Please notice or get a sheet if you haven’t already the page listing free classes, an hour and a half each Weds evening
6:30 – 8:00 at Legacy Good Sam Hospital in Portland. Classes are free and you register by attending. Just show up.

Also on this sheet is web address for Insight Timer to encourage and record meditation sessions, a few books suggested, some are free online to learn further about mindfulness meditation and my web site and blog.

As I said, this is the best self-help project I’ve ever done.

Thank you.

Below, are notes I’m cutting from previous edits.
I am pleased to be offered a forum at this BIAOR Conference to present to you what I have discovered and found to be so very useful in my own life experience, in the years following my own life’s dramatic interrupt - of getting a serious traumatic brain injury. My intention has been to create the best life I can for myself and family, given that TBI may ‘get better’ yet it is here for the long term.
I will tell you my brain injury story, the subsequent problems and what I’ve learned to help me through meditation practice.  I will lead a five minute guided meditation to give you direct experience of a mind gone wild, your own!  I’ll end the talk with current exciting medical news of NEUROPLASTICITY, how our brains can change themselves and the healing power of meditation practice, directed by our own efforts.

This all falls clearly within the title of our entire conference: “Thinking Outside The Box”. Meditation is about exploring and waking up to a WORLD that we can be fully alive in.

It’s time to introduce my life partner and cohort in all things, my wife Faith Walmer. Her main forte and desire is nurturing and healing people through positive social and familial relationships. she knows this skill well from creating a wonderful life filled with love, satisfaction and fun together with me for the last 30 years. My life would in no way be what it is now without her loving support. It is no accident she is so powerfully active with Brain Injury Connections, NW Social Committee and facilitating the Friends and Family Support Group!